Smart systems already offer home occupants the opportunity to control their heating, lighting and even music externally, so that if the temperature or mood drops on the commute home, they can crank the radiators and the volume up en route and walk into a toasty home playing a tune guaranteed to pick up their spirits.
But with proptech progressing all the time, with repairs and maintenance software already having a significant impact on the market, this is just the beginning of the automated services a home could provide for its inhabitants. Technophile tenants should look out for the following, coming soon to a rental near you:
Mood-reading fixtures and fittings
Technology* to read and interpret facial expressions already exists – the logical next step is to integrate it into household appliances so that a kettle could predict when its owner might need a cup of tea or a bath could run itself after a long day at work. Or better still, how about a wine that could chill and uncork itself? Cheers to that!
The progress being made in the repairs and maintenance management software sphere means the advent of household appliances that diagnose their own problems is only a few years away. Integrating the right repairs and maintenance management software into things like dishwashers, washing machines and boilers would allow the appliance to register its issue, then report it to the managing agent, contractor and tenant to ensure an even swifter resolution to the problem.
Online supermarkets already remember their shoppers’ last purchases and offer them the opportunity to replicate their order, so what about a fridge freezer that offered the same service – automatically contacting its owner's supermarket provider to reorder produce when it’s empty. This would be linked to the mood-reading technology already in existence so that not only would a fridge freezer register when it’s out of ice cream, it would also interpret its owner’s mood from facial recognition – then the question it asks itself is: should it order one tub or two?
The advance in home tech also has health benefits, with mirrors** that are fitted with sensors to monitor a home occupant’s health. In the time it takes for tenants to brush their teeth, the mirror will analyse their face for telltale signs of stress, fatigue or ill health. As the tech expands, it’s expected to connect with GPs and medical services in the event of medical emergencies like strokes and cardiovascular diseases, many of which can be detected from small signs on the face of the sufferer. How’s that for the fairest of them all?
*Affective computing, developed by companies like Affectiva, use cutting-edge technology to read non-verbal facial expressions like smiles, frowns, raised eyebrows and smirks.
** Wize mirror, funded by European Union funding, and on completion will offer users a thorough, non-invasive health check.